12.5 GW of solar projects registered for Brazil's October reserve auction

1,192 energy projects will participate in Brazil’s second reserve auction scheduled for October 28, with more than 33 GW of potential wind and solar capacity registered, according to a press release by Brazil’s energy planning agency EPE.

Despite the absence of an official announcement, all indications are that the first reserve auction planned for July has been cancelled definitively. The current glut of energy in the nation could be a cause for the auction to be abandoned. At the Solar Power Brazil show, Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Fernando Coelho stated that the auction “will not occur”. This auction was expected to award 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) for projects which begin operations on July 1, 2018.

In the July auction solar energy had a larger presence, with a total of 9.2 GW of solar projects against only 1 GW of hydropower projects, however in the October auction wind power dominates. The cancelled July auction did not anticipate the participation of wind projects, but wind represented 62% (20.8 GW) of the capacity registered by EPE for the October auction, against 393 solar projects with a total capacity of 12.5 GW.

In the data presented by EPE a larger participation of solar can be seen in all Brazil’s states than in in the previous auction. Bahía remained the state with the largest number of PV bids (97 projects totaling 2.86 GW), followed by Piauí, with 55 project bids for a combined capacity of 2.21 GW. In third place is Rio Grande do Norte, where 56 projects add up to a capacity of 1.61 GW, followed by Sao Paulo (44 projects, 1.33 GW) and Mato Grosso do Sul (21 bids, 1.22 GW).

It will be another month until the specific guidelines of the auction are published, which will include the volume of energy to be contracted and the date by which projects must be put into service, according to ministerial sources at Solar Power Brazil.

According to Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia, president of solar association ABSolar “Brazil needs to auction 2 GW of solar this year which will need to be built in 2019 to meet its energy needs.” There is currently no capacity contracted to come online in 2019.

While defining rules and dates for the contracting of new energy, Brazil’s National Electricity Agency (ANEEL) has called an auction for September 2nd. In this auction it will grant approval for the construction of 6,600 km of transmission lines, as well as 13 substations with a capacity of 6.75 MV-amps.

It is expected that the auction will involve 22 lots placed in the states of Bahía, Ceará, Goiás, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte. The transmission installations should start operation between 48-60 months after they are contracted, which is planned for November 25th.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.